(Above: Detail of Stained Glass LXII. Click on any image to enlarge.)
My husband Steve is a genius when it comes to travel arrangements. He's always able to figure out the complicated "point" systems for airline tickets and hotel accommodations. I'll not divulge the ridiculously low prices we paid for our recent trip to Phoenix. Trust me! It was cheap! (Okay, he made the car rental reservation, checked it daily, and changed it THREE TIMES ... each time to a lower rate. I could never be so diligent but I'm so glad he is!) So early last Friday morning we flew west! We returned on the Monday "red-eye", arriving back on Tuesday morning. It was a glorious time to visit Death Valley, Hoover Dam, Las Vegas, the Valley of Fire, a couple ghost towns, and attend the opening reception for ARTQUILTS Year XI: Permission to Play at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ. (Yes, this means that a significant portion of the trip is a legitimate tax deduction! Like I said, Steve is a travel guru!)
(Above: Stained Glass LXII. Framed: 63" x 23". $1200.)
When we left, I had several new pieces almost finished. Yet, I can't really share this work until it is mounted on mat board, photographed, entered into my inventory ledger, and ready to be fitted into frames. Since returning, these last steps were done on these FIVE pieces. So ... here they are!
I'm gearing up for the ACC (American Craft Council) shows in Baltimore and Atlanta. Plus, the Grovewood Gallery recently sold several pieces! More pieces will be coming soon!
I'm also busy every evening making wrapped-and-stitched wooden spool Christmas ornaments. These will be going to the Sustainable Midlands Holiday Sale on December 1st and to the independent handmade "Crafty Feast" show in the Columbia Convention Center on Sunday, December 14th. Photos will be coming. These are fun!
(Above: Lunette Window XV. Framed: 23" x 29". $495.)
This is a totally new design. I really like it! Another new development came in the form of an extra piece of museum glass. Museum glass is amazing. From most angles it looks utterly invisible. Unfortunately, it is also very, very expensive. Yet a client wanted museum glass on his over-sized artwork. I can only purchase it "by the box". There are two sheets in each box. Thus, I had a 68" x 48" sheet leftover. We cut it for several of these new works. I'm not raising my prices for these pieces, but I will gauge whether or not it makes a difference to art buyers. If it does, I might have to raise my prices and make a permanent stitch.
(Above: In Box CLXVII. Framed: 19 1/4" x 15 1/4". $225.)
(Above: In Box CLXVIII. Framed: 19 1/4" x 15 1/4". $225.)
(Above: Reception for ARTQUILTS Year XI: Permission to Play at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ.)
So ... the excuse for our western trip was an art quilt show. No one had to twist my arm into going. I love the Chandler Center for the Arts and the nearby Vision Gallery. The staff is fabulous. I've had two solo exhibitions with these nice people.
The art quilts are always displayed very, very well. The lighting is perfect. The location gets plenty of traffic.
The Spool Quilt was suspended on this unique hanging system ... along with another two-sided art quilt featuring a dinosaur on one side and its skeleton on the other. (I voted for this piece for the "Viewers Choice" award.)
The photo above shows the other side of both the dinosaur quilt and my Spool Quilt ... plus ... my other two, smaller pieces from my "Wet Sand" series are shown on the end of the portable wall unit. I met lots of nice art quilters too! This is a great, annual show.
Before the art quilt reception, Steve and I headed to Goldfields near the Superstition Mountains outside Phoenix. It is a fabulous, tacky, tourist mecca with plenty of old rusty machines, revamped mercantile shops, a pioneer church, a full service saloon, and a place to pay $3 to see at least one of almost all the venomous snakes living in the state. (The owner was very informative and fun. We loved it). We watched an independent Western film being shot, talked to several of the actors, and had a great lunch before hiking for the rest of the afternoon.
The next day we headed toward Las Vegas with a side trip on the historic Route 66 highway ...
... stopping in Oatman, Arizona ... along with hundreds of Harley Davidson riders ...
... to watch two townspeople reenact a gun fight right in the middle of the road. Wild burros roamed freely and shops sold small bags of alfalfa to feed the adults. The younger burros all had post-it notes on their forehead asking visitors not to feed them. The place was so much fun. Steve got a new t-shirt.
Before nightfall, we made it to Hoover Dam. Years ago we took our two boys here ... before the Mike O'Callaghan-Pat Tillman bridge was built. The view from this bridge is amazing! Well worth the stop!
Steve and I don't gamble much. We spent a total of eleven dollars on a slot machine. I used the stop watch on my phone to gauge the amount of time it took to lose that money. Almost five whole minutes! LOL!
We really enjoyed walking through the fancy casinos and hotels!
I was thrilled to see the Dale Chihuly chandelier in the Bellagio Hotel lobby.
I took dozens of pretty pictures.
The Bellagio's art gallery was between exhibitions but the wide hallways were filled with artwork ... including this new Nick Cave sound suit!
(Above: Badwater in Death Valley, the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level!)
Las Vegas is dazzling, exciting, and full of energy but it is also a great overnight location for those seeking the solitude and natural beauty of Death Valley ... like the scene above!
We even saw this coyote ... and, no, I didn't roll down the window in an attempt to take a better photo!
We also went to the Valley of Fire, Nevada's first state park. The day was somewhere beyond gorgeous. The landscape somewhere beyond surreal. The colors really were this vivid. The texture really was intense.
Steve and I did plenty of hiking. We had a blast! I am linking this post to Nina-Marie's "Off the Wall Fridays", a site for sharing fiber art creations!